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Common Assessment Framework Training


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Dear All,

Attended the above training today (yes I have had a busy week, EYP introductory course, Making it Better for Boys and this plus my normal work and its only Tuesday and they say we are not dedicated) and I have to say I am very confused.

Have any of you been on this and when do you think you would use it in an early years setting. I can see very few instances. I thought that this would form part of the referral process to other professionals but this does not seem to be the case. For example, if there was a referral to say a speech and language therapist then we would use this to highlight this area of concern to other professionals but this does not seem to be the case, it is only to be used when there are other issues. Issues that fall outside the normal referral process. I must admit I have not read the 20 pages that was given to us with this and while they have been trialling it in an area, in three months there has only been one CAF issued. Any ideas?

Nikki

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I went on some training last year for this and our LA's child wellbeing model that is being piloted. Apart from the trainer being less than inspiring, I didn't get anything out of the day - it was aimed more at head teachers and education welfare officers and they seemed to have a lot more case studies and knowledge of dealing with these kind of referrals.

 

I thought that the idea was to do the 'joined up thinking' approach and, like you say, highlight concerns to other professionals so we don't have another Victoria Climbie incident, but it doesn't appear to be developing that way.

 

I may have misunderstood due to feeling out of my depth, but I do share your way of thinking, so you're not alone!

 

It would be interesting to hear of anyone who has dealt with a referral through this method.

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I came across the CAF form through internet research or maybe even from this forum. I showed it to my Area Senco officer about 2 months ago, he said, Oh, I've heard about that, we haven't had the training on it yet and it isn't being implimented yet so I don't even want to look at it. :o ( maybe I should take a leaf out of his book xD )

 

So really I am none the wiser except to know that my professional advisors re: senco aren't ready to take it on board yet. so I filed it away.

 

Peggy

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We touched on this very briefly last night at an inclusion course I was on. I think we may be getting one to look at next week on the second evening so I will be asking questions and hopefully may have some answers next Wednesday.

Linda

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All of my team are going on CAF training in March. I was under the impression that it was all about making sure that everyone knows all of the information about a childs needs and things are being passed between agencies with the right info.

 

I am now very interested to find out if this course is going to be anything like that - from what you are saying it might not - we shall wait and see!

Deb

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My Manager went on the training last week - she thinks it's brilliant and means all services will be able to tap into exactly what is happening in any particular case, individuals involved etc. She's sending me on training asap, as well as other senior staff.

 

Sue

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That's really interesting - seems like to we went to different training although it is all supposed to be exactly the same, same DFES powerpoint presentation etc. I agree that in practice it might be good for information sharing , but the fact is that we still cannot do anything unless the parent agrees and signs up to it and that we can carry out a CAF and as it is only as I understand for things that fall outside the referral process. I suppose it could be used by the professionals who have had the case referred to e.g. speech and language therapist, CPO and they may raise one if there were other issues, behaviour/emotional/poverty issues that could not be dealt with by another referral. Very confusing if you ask me. I had assumed it was to assist the referral process and ensure everyone was on board with what was going on. I don;t think I am going to worry about it except if I have a case which falls outside the referral process but I am not too sure what they might be, young teenage parents might be one, parents with mental health problems but otherwise I cannot think of anything I can use a CAF for. At our stage they will possibly already have one on them and we will get to hear about it or can ask for information on it.

 

Personally, there is no way in the world I personally would agree to a CAF being made on my child/children. I reckon that in my current personal cicrumstances a CAF could be drawn up as my circumstances might fit the bill but there is no way I would consider that sort of information being asked for and held by anyone other than myself.

 

For now I am going to file it all away - if it ties in with ECM, under the section Being Healthy can I undertake a CAF for all those children who have no access to a NHS dentist - that would send the system into a spin.

 

Nikki

 

 

Nikki

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Nice one Nikki, until this post I thought CAF was about info sharing between agencies, find the not within referral criteria quite confusing. :o

As a format for sharing info, not having to re-write the book ( so to speak) every time the child was seen by a different professional body, I did wonder who wrote the original one.

 

Have to wait and see how it works in practice, once someone else has put it into practice.

 

Peggy

 

Nikki, I think your point on how much and what and to whom reads it...info on a child is very significant, and will be interesting to see how parents respond to this recording method.

 

peggy

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  • 1 month later...

Resurrecting this one as I've been on some initial training today.

 

I am, like my Manager, very excited by this. I think it is an excellent way forward and a step that should have been taken aeons ago, to avoid just such incidents as the tragic case of Victoria Climbie.

 

As I understand it (remember, basic training so basic understanding, but I think what they wanted was an awareness of how it works and where it fits in), If a single referral appears to suit the need, then CAF is not appropriate at this point. If child is At Risk - CAF not appropriate (Safeguarding referral instead). If a child is exhibiting behaviour etc that causes 'concerns' CAF may be appropriate - try it! Well, not quite so 'airy fairy' as 'try it', but that would be the time to approach for permission for CAF. Yes, it does need consent - parent/carer OR child/young person if they are able to understand and have opinions on the matter. If consent is witheld there is nothing we can do, unless we believe it is becoming a Safeguarding issue, when we should use those procedures.

 

As I understand it, CAF is for children in Need, Safeguarding is for children at Risk. And yes, once CAF is accepted and 'organised' (for want of a better word) we should all be able to tap into what support is currently/has been in place and thus work together. They can also be stopped and started, so do not need reapplying, as such, which is much better for a good overview!

 

Please continue to feed into this as I consider it an extremely important aspect of our work.

Sue

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Thanks for the differentiation Sue R. I've not had access to training, and only read through the form, blind, so to speak, quite a while ago.

 

From reading your post, my first question is, if I get permission and then complete a CAF, is it then sent to a 'central body'? Who's role then would be to disseminate the information to all agencies?

 

or does the parent keep it and produce it for different agencies? (can't see this working)

 

Maybe they need a system like this for children at risk as well as children in need, thus ensuring everyone has each peice of the puzzle as it starts to fit together.

 

Peggy

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No, as I understand it, each area has a designated person within the Children's Services Department who receives and processes. (Although I would presume there will be some kind of central register as well, otherwise the same lack of communication may still recur) In actual fact, before you completed the CAF you would approach said person to enquire if a CAF already existed - although, if you've been talking to parents/carers/young person they may have told you (!). This is where the good bit kicks in, to my way of thinking - parents/carers/YP (forgive abbrev!) are probably fed up repeating themselves, so it's good to share? (with permission!)

 

The 'at risk' thing will also tap into this, as a safety net, is my understanding - in as much as local CAF folk can advise Social Care (used to be Social Services) if concerns have been raised in the past. At least, I hope the social workers will have been told, or have the common sense to access this!!

 

Sue

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quote "At least, I hope the social workers will have been told, or have the common sense to access this!! "

 

 

Hopefully this is the goal aimed at through 5 outcomes which includes health, education AND social services ( now called Social care :o ?)

 

Thanks Sue R, if it works it does sound promising. :)

 

Peggy

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My only reserve is how much of information will be 'fact' or 'assumption'.

 

I am acutely aware that on file I have 2 ( 4 years apart) unfounded allegations made against me as a carer. As a foster carer the 'reports' that are sent to us about children coming into our care are a totally different picture of who the child is (in our experience).

 

Not sure which is worst, infactual information ( is that a word?) or no information. I suppose some information is better than none in terms of understanding what is or may be happening in a childs life.

 

Peggy

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I don't think this is about 'discussing', more about assessing (see name). If there are concerns of a multiple or unclear nature then the idea is that action will be taken to investigate, clarify and, if necessary initiate appropriate intervention. That can only be good in terms of enabling a child to achieve at a better level within the 5 Outcomes, surely?

 

It's not a matter of 'being on record...', as much as 'previous concerns/considerations have been...' - if you've ever been to hospital for yourself, child or other person, how frustrating is it when they 'can't find the file' !!!!!!!!! :o:(:(xD:(

 

Sue

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Guest sqpeg

Hello :)

as i understand it if a child is in need perhaps born with a disability and requires several services input the child is picked up usual by health it then goes to the panel which has a representative from services education and usual be lead by a 'peadatrition' an appointed key worker will co ordinate services this may change over time as at each review one service may take a back seat whilst another has more input to the family. The CAF is for children using more than one service for some children with communication difficulties these children will be channelled into S&L to begin with but if the need is more can be put back into system if turns out asd.

at the moment (child protection) safe guarding children very often dont pick up referals to them if the child has a disability they pass onto childrens disabilty team at social services which is discrimination, the CAF will help stop this from happening. The CAF should make it clearer for all concerned. Dont know if this makes sense! At the moment the CAF is being trialed in certain PCTs and is expected to be rolled out. CAF is for children with a high level of need more than one service user.

sqpeg :)

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Thanks Sue for putting it so succinctly - the problem I have is we know how long any referral takes - are they targetted to meet the needs of "children in need" and who are these people and where are they coming from to meet this. I do appreciate that when dealing with multiagencies for children who may need the services of more than one agency it will be brilliant to have one lead professional who can oversee and link in to everything and this is where I see it benefitting. Unfortunately though I do not feel as positive as you Sue, as I do not believe the CAF process would have changed what happened in Climbie case because it would not have been signed by the carers/guardians and therefore goes back into the arena of safeguardng children - which is where it all went wrong in the first place - but my memory is a bit thin on this one so forgive me if I haven;t got the facts right. I think it will work well in a few cases but I also think that there are still more questions than answers. I for one would not sign a CAF as it stands for any of my children so where does that leave me - without getting the help I need. I am still not convinced and have huge reservations about it all. So I think I will have to keep watching this space. But as more comes on board as to how in practice it will work then I hope everything will get ironed out.l

Nikki

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  • 2 weeks later...

At a meeting last week there was some discussion of the recent rounds of CAF awareness training in our area. The concensus seems to be that where there are problems with CAF understanding, there seem to be problems with the Outcomes for Children, as well.

 

Sue

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